Voicing hope for victory in elections, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Sunday that people will choose a good future for themselves.
After casting his vote in the capital Belgrade for presidential, parliamentary and local elections, Vucic said: “I am confident that people will choose a good future for themselves, their families, and their children. I believe that citizens will choose continued economic progress. As far as I have heard, there has been no problem so far. I personally have a meaningful and important expectation of victory. I think everyone will get what they deserve."
Meanwhile, the presidential candidate of the opposition "United for the Victory of Serbia", Zdravko Ponos, said he expected the elections would mark the beginning of more normal relations in society and the end of artificial divisions, better relations with the environment, a more certain future and more stable life.
Ponos said that Serbia is a "deeply divided society.”
Serb Member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Milorad Dodik also participated in the elections by casting his vote at the Consulate General of Serbia in Banja Luka city.
Dodik said that a significant number of citizens across Republika Srpska (one of two entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina) are voting.
"I would like all citizens of Republika Srpska to one day get automatic citizenship of Serbia and to be able to vote for everyone here on this day when elections are held in Serbia. That will be part of my efforts in the future," said Dodik.
The Chairman of Serbia’s Election Commission, Vladimir Dimitrijevic, said the elections are being monitored by a record number of observers.
He said: "5,218 observers from nine domestic organizations, and 23 foreign countries will also have the opportunity to observe the elections," said Dimitrijevic.
Meanwhile, a large number of Serbs from Kosovo have arrived in cities in central Serbia, where their polling stations have been transferred.
A two-kilometer-long column has formed at the Jarinje crossing on the road from Kosovska Mitrovica to Raska.
Citizens from Kosovo can exercise their voting right in Raska, Tutin, Bujanovac, and Kursumlija.
The Kosovo government announced earlier that Serbs in Kosovo would not be able to vote in the April 3 Serbian presidential and parliamentary elections.
Serbians headed to the polls on Sunday to choose a new president, members of the country's 250-seat parliament and local authorities.
Polling stations opened at 7 a.m. local time and will close at 8 p.m. (0500 to 1800GMT).
Parliamentary elections were supposed to be held in 2024 but President Aleksandar Vucic announced in October 2020 that snap parliamentary polls would be held in or before April 2022.
Besides the general elections, local elections will be held in 12 municipalities and two cities, including Belgrade.
Around 6.5 million eligible voters will elect members to the 250-seat National Assembly, the unicameral parliament.
A total of 126 seats are needed for a majority in the assembly.
Meanwhile, eight candidates are competing in the presidential election.
Local elections will be held in the capital Belgrade, and in the city of Bor.
Voters will also cast ballots for the municipalities of Arandjelovac, Smederevska Palanka, Lucani, Knjazevac, Medvedja, Bajina Basta, Doljevac, Kula, Kladovo, Majdanpek, Secanj and Sevojno.